Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen (born 25 December 1976) is a Finnish songwriter, multi-instrumentalist musician (but mainly keyboardist) and record producer, best known as the founder, leader, keyboardist and songwriter of symphonic metal band Nightwish. He has also studied jazz and classical styles, but prefers to be influenced by harmonic film music.
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Tuomas Holopainen was born in Kitee, Finland on December 25, 1976. His musicality and way of expressing himself through written text showed early in school. His mother signed him up for piano class in school when he was seven years old, and he later studied clarinet, tenor saxophone, piano and music theory for eleven years at a music college.
Holopainen joined his first bands in 1993. He played in several bands, including recording keyboards for three albums with black metal band Darkwoods My Betrothed and playing with Dismal Silence, Nattvindens Gråt and Sethian.
In July, 1996, Holopainen began thinking of starting a band of his own, for which he would write the music and play keyboards. This was the birth of Nightwish, around a camp fire. He asked Emppu Vuorinen (guitar) and classmate Tarja Turunen (vocals) to join what was then an acoustic project. After hearing Turunen’s strong voice, and because of the metal influences of Vuorinen and drummer Jukka Nevalainen, Tuomas decided to turn Nightwish into a metal act.
Nightwish’s first non-demo release, Angels Fall First, came in 1997, followed by Oceanborn in 1998. In 1999, Holopainen and members of other Finnish metal acts like Embraze, Eternal Tears of Sorrow, Charon and Reflexion started the gothic metal supergroup For My Pain.... However, as all the members was busy with their own bands, the project was postponed for the future.
Nightwish’s third studio album, “Wishmaster”, was released in 2000. The third release sold even better than the previous album. In 2001, again the idea of For My Pain... was brought up, and the members started planning a debut.
In Nightwish’s album “Century Child”, released in 2002, Holopainen began collaborating with symphonic orchestras from Finland and the United Kingdom, which was a change in the band’s music and Holopainen’s style of composition, and also allowed for more freedom with additional instruments. The use of orchestral elements has been present in the studio album releases from Nightwish as of December 31, 2007.
In 2003, For My Pain... released its debut album, entitled “Fallen”. The album was received well, but the band has since lost fans due to a lack of new albums –- for the same reason that “Fallen” was delayed by four years. In 2004 For My Pain... released “Killing Romance”, a Finnish single with three previously unreleased tracks; “Killing Romance”, “Joutsenlaulu” and “Too Sad to Live”.
Nightwish’s fifth studio album, “Once” was released in 2004, and became their US break-through. Singles “Nemo” and “Wish I Had an Angel” were played on MTV. Nightwish started their most extensive tour to date, the Once World Tour, visiting several countries, like Japan, for the first time. After the last concert (a filmed show in Hartwall Areena, Finland which was featured on the “End of an Era” DVD in 2006), in October, 2005, Nightwish gave vocalist Tarja Turunen a letter explaining her dismissal from the band.
In 2006, Holopainen went through a dark period filled with anxiety and depression, made worse by rumours about himself and Nightwish in the tabloids every day. These events also inspired him in the writing of “Dark Passion Play”, Nightwish’s latest album, which may be considered their darkest album yet.
After heavy metal singer Timo Rautiainen’s break up of Trio Niskalaukaus, he published his first solo album titled “Sarvivuori” with a crew gathered from different bands, including Holopainen on keyboards. Holopainen also wrote one song on the album.
Early the next year, For My Pain... announced that they would soon start recording the successor to “Fallen”, but it was reported in the same autumn that the album once again was postponed.
In April 2007 Holopainen collaborated with fellow Nightwish member Marco Hietala to write a theme song for the Finnish film “Lieksa!”. The song, “While Your Lips Are Still Red”, was the first song he had written specifically for a film, though several Nightwish songs (“Nemo”, “Wish I Had an Angel”, “Amaranth”) have been included in film soundtracks. Holopainen has said that writing film scores is something he would like to do in the future. On “While Your Lips Are Still Red”, in addition to Holopainen on piano, Marco Hietala performs vocals and acoustic bass guitar, and Jukka Nevalainen plays drums.
In 2007, Holopainen played keyboards with Finnish punk band Kylähullut on their EP “Lisää persettä rättipäille.” He would return to play keyboards on their following album “Peräaukko sivistyksessä.” Holopainen can be heard singing with the chorus on both of these releases.
The new vocalist for Nightwish was revealed i
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Full Name at Birth
Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen
Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist musician, screenwriter, record producer. Best known as the founder, leader, keyboardist and songwriter of Nightwish.
Nattvindens Gråt, Darkwoods My Betrothed, For My Pain..., Timo Rautiainen
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1992 – present
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Symphonic metal, power metal, gothic metal, black metal
Keyboards, piano, vocals, saxophone, clarinet
Spinefarm, Nuclear Blast, Roadrunner, Century Media, Drakkar Entertainment
Nightwish, For My Pain..., Timo Rautiainen, Indica, Darkwoods My Betrothed
synthesizer, guitar, bass, drums, percussion
Tony Kakko, Johanna Kurkela
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